NASA PR — NASA’s Glory spacecraft is scheduled for launch on Friday, March 4. Technical issues with ground support equipment for the Taurus XL launch vehicle led to the scrub of the original Feb. 23 launch attempt. Those issues have been resolved.
The liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is targeted for 5:09:43 a.m. EST, in the middle of a 48-second launch window. Spacecraft separation occurs 13 minutes after launch. Coverage of the countdown on the Glory launch blog and on NASA TV will begin on launch day at 3:30 a.m. EST.
Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth’s climate. Both aerosols and solar energy influence the planet’s energy budget — the amount of energy entering and exiting Earth’s atmosphere. An accurate measurement of these impacts is important in order to anticipate future changes to our climate and how they may affect human life.
Project management for Glory is the responsibility of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA’s Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., is the launch service provider to Kennedy of the four-stage Taurus XL rocket and is also builder of the Glory satellite for Goddard.